Digital and the myth of ‘future proof’

Over the last few years I have repeatedly heard sales reps, suits and other client-facing people sell in new digital properties by using the term ‘future proof’. In doing so they sell the idea that the agency designs and builds in a way that guarantees scalability and longevity. Well, I think it’s about time agencies started being more honest with clients…

The truth is that no one has total visibility on what is coming down the road. We are all reactionary to the constant changes in the digital landscape. New hardware leads to new software; new technologies lead to new applications and vice versa. Digital trends change as quickly as the seasons.

Clients need to be educated on this reality. They need to be aware of the complexity of designing and building to today’s technologies and understand that future technological changes may require additional investment.

To deliver the best for a client, we work with the best information at hand at the time. We design, create, strategise and develop with the best intentions for our clients. We pick the best development frameworks, use the most up-to-date design techniques and do everything in our power to drive traffic and conversion, but that is all in the now.

Knowing exactly what will be available 2-3 years from now is at best a guess. Anyone who claims otherwise is either stretching the truth or very naive. We can build to multiple screen sizes, design with assisted services in mind and provide the most-effective user experience possible, but in the end, new technologies are appearing every day.

The steep curve of technological innovation worldwide means integrating these new ideas into existing frameworks can create problems and opportunities. Where clients can seek comfort is in the client-agency relationship and the knowledge that the team behind their digital property will be there to take advantage of opportunities and support the client with solutions when any problems arise.

In the end, the most important thing for clients to understand is that we are dealing with hardware and software. Hardware becomes obsolete and software is iterative based on bugs, features, upgrades, enhancement, changes in needs/functionality and more. For this reason clients should be aware that the real thing they should be investing in is the level of expertise, ideas and support that their agency offers, not grand promises that can never be guaranteed.

That’s the best way to ensure a happy future for all.


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